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A List of Every Drink in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

I first read Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with it. For the last couple of years, I have had the incredible privilege of teaching a class based around Hemingway in Paris -- while living and teaching in Paris itself, close to the Boulevard du Montparnasse, where most of the action of the novel's first half takes place.

Of the many things that one notices about the book, the colossal amount of drinking is something that stands out. These people didn't just drink like fish: they drank like whales, as if the ocean they swam in was alcohol and they had set themselves the task of drinking the seas of the world dry of it. During my read-through of the book before class started last year, I tried to underline every mention of drink in the book. And now, purely in the interests of science, I am listing the entire menu of booze mentioned directly by name. Some preliminary observations:
  1. Most of this is consumed by the central character, Jake, though the larger quantities (the 7 litres of wine in Chapter 15 or the 15 whiskies in Chapter 19) involve 2 other people. However, the 5 bottles of wine at the end of the book are all pretty much swallowed by Jake.
  2. I have almost certainly missed a few, though the list is pretty comprehensive.
  3. It's not recommended that you turn this into a Hemingway drinking game. A long time ago, some friends of mine tried to have every drink in "The Sun Also Rises" in order, and they were unconscious by the end of chapter 4.
Ch 1:
several fines (brandies)

Ch. 2:
a whiskey and soda
an aperitif

Ch 3:
2 bottles of wine
several liqueurs
a beer
a cognac
"a drink"

Ch 4:
brandy and soda

Ch 5:
a beer

CH 6:
a Jack Rose
"we had a drink"

Ch 7:
"a glass in her hand"
2 brandies
3 bottles of champagne
a bottle of brandy

Ch 8:
several glasses of liquor
"a drink"
several brandies
a whiskey and soda
a brandy

Ch 9:
"a drink"
a bottle of wine
"another bottle of wine"

Ch 10:
two beers
"plenty of wine"

Ch 11
2 bottles of wine
several swigs from a wine skin
one aguardiente
four unspecified drinks
a pitcher of rum punch
several bottles of wine

Ch 12
2 bottles of wine

Ch 13
3 bottles of wine
3 more bottles of wine
several drinks
several more drinks
"much wine"

Ch 14
a vermouth

Ch 15
a sherry
a gallon wine-skin
7 litres of wine
a bottle of anis
one "big leather wine bottle"

Ch 16
several glasses of wine
a bottle of Fundador
"a big glass of cognac"
"another glass of Fundador"
a bottle of Fundador
a glass of amontillado brandy
3 cognacs

Ch 17
a Fundador
a beer
"three more bottles of beer"
"another bottle of beer"
6 bottles of beer
a bottle of Fundador

Ch 18
several bottles of beer
"another big beer"
bottle of wine
several bottles of beer
4 glasses of absinthe

Ch 19
a bottle of Fundador
a whiskey and soda
15 whiskies
bottle of wine
glass of liqueur
2 brandies
a whiskey and soda
2 cognacs
2 martinis
"two more martinis"
"two more martinis"
3 bottles of rioja alta
2 more bottles of rioja alta



  1. Hi, thanks for the good thing I think you made a few mistakes on captioning Fellini's movies, the first one as I Know from the "La Dolce Vita" and the 3 one is from .eight and half.

  2. We started off in the downstairs pub area of home studios NYC and then moved to the upper level, many tables were already reserved there but we commandeered some sitting space in front of a fireplace that was just the right size for our group of happy campers.

  3. something I just wrote before googling you:

    I could not read Sun Also Rises without being hit with how often it mentions a specific drug: alcohol.   (Now I feel the same watching some new "golden age of tv" TV show, waiting for the first gratuitous cigarette to show up, product-placed...before or after the first gratuitous sex/murder?)

    So I reread Sun just to count, and in a book of 250-something pages, 286 references to drinks, drinking, or being drunk.  After the madness of the Great War and inevitability of the next one, alcohol culture at its peak.  The fact I that I had to count the mentions of booze myself--I couldn't just google it--indicates that alcohol (as in "drugs and alcohol," the meme of our language that reflects our denial)  is still a blindspot of our culture.


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